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on 5 June 2012
Stand alone police procedural by the much respected author of the Devlin books. Set in and around Derry the story carries much of the history of that troubled City as seen through a serving police family. There are several "little girls lost" in this complex story that will disturb even the most seasoned crime thriller reader. Never written to shock and with moments of humour the story is gently unfolded in short sharp chapters around the life of Detective Sergeant Lucy Black.
I particularly liked the familar woods played in as a child by Lucy now appearing dark & menencing. Fairy tales and much loved children's stories are also given a new and sinister touch.
Above all McGilloway's fine writing always makes this a very readable book, despite the horror and difficult subjects covered: kidnap, torture, punishment attacks, child abuse, homelessness and corruption. The central character Lucy spends as much time at the hospital as the police station, but the story unravels around her role and relationships. This is hindered by her caring for her elderly Father who has pre-senile dementia but even here there is a twist as BM spins his story and brings it all together to complete a gem of a novel.
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on 12 March 2013
Obviously lots of people like this book but I'm not one of them, which is a shame, because the central premise is good, as is the setting. DS Lucy Black returns to Derry and becomes part of the team investigating two cases, the abduction of a teenage girl and a small girl found wandering in the woods. So far, so good, but what spoilt it for me was this the chaotic way the plot was developed. Without spoiling the plot, I can't be specific, but leads weren't pursued, assumptions were made with no evidence and the main mystery- how the threads hang together - is pretty much explained halfway through.
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VINE VOICEon 11 April 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
but am a little unsure why.

Lucy is a policewoman (is Detective a better term?) and she founds herself at the centre of the biggest crime in Ireland at the time, searching for a kidnapped teenager and finds another little girl instead of her.
I really liked the character of Lucy, she was very likeable and I found I could relate to her, as far as wanting what is best for everyone and not really doing much about your own needs.

I mentioned I am unsure why I liked it. Its hard to put my finger on it. Unlike most books in this genre, it is not at all gruesome. Which is odd because I usually like that. And a lot of the characters are not very likeable. In fact Lucy is the only character I really like in the book (besides the children).
It didnt really have any of the usual things I go for in a crime/thriller book but saying that, Brian McGilloway has a style of writing that just totally sucked me into the story.
In fact I started this book on my lunch break this morning and have finished it this evening. I just wanted to keep on reading to see what happened with Lucy, her father, Alice and Kate.

The only thing I didn't like and found really unbelievable was how everyone was linked together in some way. It made solving the crime seem easy.

However this was a first read for me from this author and I would definately read more of his in the future.
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on 30 August 2012
I bought this when it was on special offer in the Kindle store and I must say I'm glad I did. It's a really good, absorbing read which draws you in from the very beginning. Easy to follow and the characters are well-drawn, I think the expression is - meaning, I guess, you can visualise them in your mind. I enjoyed the story and the sub-plots and would recommend this. Crime thrillers are not my usual thing, but this was an exception. Very enjoyable
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on 9 May 2013
Good background 're the troubles in Ireland without it being too bogged down in it. Also shows the human side of a police
officer dealing with difficult circumstances
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on 13 June 2013
Little Girl Lost starts out promising but ultimately, I struggled to finish it. I'm a rabid (forget avid - avid is for people who can't muster enough obsession!) reader and can get through most things but was very bored with LGL.

It's set in Northern Ireland and follows Lucy, a young policewoman who stumbles into a messy situation with a young girl found in the woods in a torn, bloody nightdress. The little girl speaks nary a word and only trusts Lucy.

Typically, I find that authors who choose a protagonist from the opposite sex do a great job - they've researched their character's "type", they have imagination and wit. Sadly, Brian McGilloway's "character development" only takes one form - a woman who sees sexual harassment in every male colleague. It's unclear whether this is part of her psyche, or something which is actually occurring. And since McGilloway doesn't describe our heroine very well physically, it's unclear whether it's plausible.

There are bits of excitement in the book, and a plot which nearly gets going. McGilloway unfortunately comes over as a new author so excited to tell the "thrill" at the end, that he repeats himself ad infinitum, and ruins any suspense as soon as he creates it.

The Northern Irish setting was great - rare for a thriller. Also, his take on the politics of Norn Iron was interesting as well: Lucy is a Catholic who lives in a Protestant neighbourhood and has experience some horrific sectarianism. McGilloway is careful to never take sides in a very complicated issue, but merely to present situations which NI residents may have found themselves in during the 1970s and 80s.

I'd have preferred to read a blog post or an essay on his experience of Northern Ireland rather than have wasted my time with this almost-thriller, hoping it would get exciting. Non-plausible characters and a bit of a yawn rather than a yarn (ha!).

Even if you're looking for a quick Kindle read - avoid! For the same price you can get a Jack Reacher novel or any of a dozen others which will keep your brain engaged.
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on 20 April 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I damned Brian McGilloway's last Inspector Devlin novel - `The Rising' - with faint praise last year, noting its shortcomings and awarding it three stars. Fortunately this standalone is a lot better.

DS Lucy Black is pulled off the case of a local businessman's missing teenage daughter to take charge of a young girl found wandering in woodland in the middle of winter. The child won't talk and no one knows who she is.

The plot moves swiftly along and a link between the two cases is discovered and... I will say no more.

Lucy's mother, who divorced her father several years ago, is the Assistant Chief Constable - but no-one's supposed to know. Lucy now lives with her dad, an ex-policeman held in the heartbreaking grip of early stage Alzheimer's. Taking care of him is therefore no easy task for her and these plot aspects are nicely described and believable.

`Little Girl Lost' is not perfect: it's contrived at times, and a bit clichéd at others. And because the author has chosen to keep the story going at a fast pace, results of DNA and fingerprint tests are received absurdly quickly and linkages with earlier crimes are established virtually instantaneously. DS Black also seems to wilfully ignore police procedures at all times, and as a newbie to CID is involved in conducting a key witness interview. This seems unrealistic to me.

No matter, this is an exciting plot with plenty of action, and features strong characters. I also enjoy a well-written thriller where there are dark secrets hidden in the past, which later come to the fore - as occurs in here. And, crucially, it isn't padded out to 400 pages - the way so many thrillers are these days.

As previously mentioned, this is being promoted as a standalone, but I doubt if Mr McGilloway will be able to resist the temptation to turn this into a series, as I'm sure this will be his biggest-seller yet. I for one look forward to another DS Lucy Black novel.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was gripped from the first page when the little girl is spotted in the woods. This is a story about greed and what it can cost you. A teenage girl is missing and the person who holds the clue is a young girl who is too traumatised to talk. We meet a policewoman - Lucy who has just moved back to he home town to look after her father who has alzheimers. It just so happens that her mother is the boss of the division too. I enjoyed the depth of the story, how it actually started 15 years ago with a fatal choice for fraud. I don't want to ruin the story by revealing too much but if you like a good crime read you'll love this. I hope this isn't going to be a stand alone as the characters are really good!
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VINE VOICEon 28 March 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is called in the cover blurb a stand-alone crime novel so I assume may not become part of a series. This would be a pity as the main character - Lucy - has the potential to become a good "hook" for a series. The book is well-written and fast-moving and the change of scene (for me) to northern Ireland, with echoes of the "troubles", was interesting. I enjoyed the book. However I did feel I was spotting the denouement too early in the book and it turned out I was more or less right, so some suspense was lost. I think it's a difficult balance for any author of suspense novels to get the right number of potential suspects without it becoming ridiculous but this did not quite get it right.
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on 29 May 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I found this to be a gripping crime thriller and was hooked from the start. I felt that I really got to know the main character of DS Lucy and this was due to McGilloway introducing us to Lucy's parents and her relationship with them. There are plenty of twists and turns with never a dull moment. Throw into the mix the fact that Lucy's dad is suffering from Alzheimer's and a brief history of The Troubles and you begin to see that this is a very intelligently written book. Everything gradually falls into place and the mystery starts to unravel. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and look forward to more by this author.
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